The MCU is now the biggest brand in Hollywood and the reason they have been so successful is that they stick to a single formula at their core and then branch out and expand that formula differently with every new movie that they put out. They have a predefined plan which does allow certain changes in the future but never have they ever done something drastically altered from what their original vision was. Now, this is what WB has never understood, and that led to the destruction of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the entire DCEU!
Snyder always had a predefined vision which would have worked out well for everyone if WB did not intervene the way they do with every single film that they put out!
Right from the beginning with Man of Steel, and then converting it into a shared Universe with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Snyder had a vision set for DC’s big characters and how they came into contact with the Universe overall in the most ultimate way possible, but he was stopped before he could conclude the things he began.
Snyder obviously started out with Superman, and then he wanted to branch out a story of Superman with 4 more movies. That way BvS told the second phase of Man of Steel’s long journey, and Justice League would have given us a glimpse of the real Superman that we have always wanted.
Justice League 2 would have taken the Injustice Superman route where Sups would have become delusional and a bit manipulated by Darkseid upon the death of Lois Lane. But he would have come to his senses towards the end and really transformed into the Superman that is a beacon of hope!
Then the final Justice League movie would have given us the Superman we love. So it was a long storyline that Snyder planned. Here’s what he said about branching out to Justice League, bringing in other Superheroes:
“I’ve said that Justice League is a top-down affair in my opinion. There’s two things you’ve got to do. One, you have to get Superman’s house in order. And two, you have to look at the rest of the DC universe. What I try to do with this movie is imply that there are other DC characters in this world. We don’t see them, but there’s evidence that they’re out there. So, just like you top-down Superman, you have to sort of top-down the rest of the DC characters. Not to say that they need their own movies or anything, perse, like, say the Marvel model, but – by the way I’m also not ruling that out – but I do think there’s an opportunity to think about how you might introduce other DC characters and whether that’s a Justice League movie, or whether that’s just a way of expanding Superman’s universe, those are things that I think – that’s the next conversation I think, for me.”
His formula was always related the “the night is the darkest right before dawn.” Man of Steel was darker than people wanted and BvS totally continued that storyline. Justice League then was supposed to be lighter in tone but it was also going to continue a little bit of the tone installed with BvS, that would have continued in a grim future of Justice League 2.
Right from the first trailer of Justice League, we knew that the film was going to be lighter in tone but it could obviously not leave what it had established back in BvS. The film was always going to stick to its roots until WB decided to fully step in and take total control.
The Marvel formula is that they make films more appealing to a larger audience base, and that obviously brought in loads of profits. Warner Bros. understandably wanted the same thing with their shared Universe, and in lieu of making big money like Marvel, they completely destroyed the whole thing that they were striving to build.
Noticing that Justice League was too similar to BvS after all, they brought in the director of the Avengers, Joss Whedon and demanded alternate versions of every scene that Snyder shot.
With too much pressure put on Snyder by WB’s executives and a tragedy in his family, Snyder was ultimately pushed aside allowing WB to order significant reshoots done under Joss Whedon. This was done in order to change the entire direction of the film and make it more appealing to the larger audience base.
But with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Ultimate Edition, it was proven that the DCEU already has a loyal fan base. The DCEU would have ultimately been very profitable for WB if they let Snyder do his thing entirely.
Sure what he was building is not for everyone, but it was totally different and original than what Marvel was doing. People had already submitted to that and were ready for Snyder’s DCEU!
But with WB completely reshaping the Justice League into Frankenstein, they killed the DCEU themselves. They could have easily changed the direction after Snyder was done telling his story but instead they left us with a half told the re-edited story.
Justice League was supposed to be the beginning, but it actually turned out to be the end! Because of what WB did, the film scored mixed reviews yet again, utterly failed at the Box Office, and lost its loyal audience in the long run. All this happened because WB started chasing Marvel big time!
Now Aquaman does look pretty cool, but it might still not meet the expectations of WB because of what they have already done to their own franchise.